The warm weather over the weekend was a welcome change, and it seems all my naturalist friends were in the field taking full advantage of it. The last of the ’08 butterflies are making their year-end appearances and here is an exciting photo from Warren Uxley, one of the naturalists at Crawford County Park District. You have to love a friend who will call mid-day just to share with you a great butterfly they saw! J
Variegated Fritillary, Euptoieta claudia is a great find, one I have never seen at my house. Mohican is the most common place in mid-Ohio to find this mid-sized Fritillary in the Brush-footed family of butterflies, but Warren lucked on to this fresh one at Unger Park. The colors are familiar, not unlike other “Frits”, but note the square look to the edges of the upper wing. That is a great diagnostic tool for calling one in the field.
And this was an exciting new fact for the Weedpicker: their caterpillars eat May Apple, Podophyllum peltata, Violets, Viola, and Moonseed, Menispermum. This is the first time I have heard of a larva that eats May Apple! Most Frits just eat violets, so how cool is that! And get a load of this caterpillar: click here. It has the whole orange and black, spike-y Goth look going on! Their unusually beautiful chrysalis looks like white porcelain dotted with glass beads. Again, go here and scroll down to see an amazing photo.
Fall is on it’s way- and I figured we deserved one more look at a fabulous Frit before the cold weather sets in.